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Maiden Voyage

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  1,306 ratings  ·  159 reviews
Tania Aebe was an eighteen-year-old dropout and barfly. She was going nowhere until her father offered her a challenge. He would offer her either a college education or a twenty-six-foot sloop in which she had to sail around the world alone. She chose the boat and for two years it was her home, as she negotiated weather, illness, fear, and ultimately, a spiritual quest tha ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published September 29th 1996 by Ballantine Books (first published 1989)
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Community Reviews

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In my GR favorite quotes you'll find the following: "There's nothing ... absolutely nothing ... half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats" -these words of Kenneth Grahame's from Wind in the Willows were cemented in my mind by my boat building father from such a young age that I can't remember ever not knowing them! or doubting them. After reading Aebi's memoir, it is clear that these words of wisdom are still worth quoting today! If you ever wake up and question whether what you ...more
Ben Starling
Just finished Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi. It describes her solo circumnavigation starting at age 18 from New York in 1985 and finishing 2 years later in 1987.

Zipped through the whole book in less than a day. Obviously a gripping tale.

The stuff I loved:
* She did it at 18 years old - holy shiny binnacles, Batman!
* She did it on a boat that was only 26 feet long!
* At the time, she was the youngest person ever to circumnavigate (minus 80 km during which she had a friend on board)
* She seemed like
As a present for her high school graduation, Tania Aebi receives a 26 sailboat from her father with the admonition that she needs to sail around the world to increase her awareness of the world. This is the account of this voyage. I have read this book 2-3 times because I like sailing books. I've sailed around the world with 4-5 people over the years (from my easy chair.) I will read this again,.
I ended up liking this book a lot more than I thought I was going to at the beginning. The way Tania matured throughout the process was interesting and her way of giving credit to everyone but herself showed a level of character unusual for one that young (or any age).
I kept projecting myself into her role and wondered how I would have handled the obstacles she faced when I was that age. I’m certain I wouldn’t have done as well as she did and I doubt I would have had integrity to handle the lon
This book is a memoir of the author's trip around the world, alone, in a 26' sailboat, the conclusion of which trip made her both the youngest person and the first female to circumnavigate the world alone.

Tania Aebi was 18 in 1985 when she left New York on the sailboat Varuna, and that departure marked the first time she had ever handled a boat by herself. She (alongside siblings and family friends) had served as "crew" on her father's sailboat before, but he'd handled most of the actual work of
I enjoyed the book and reading about the adventures of the author's trip around the world. That being said, I found the idea that a father would send his daughter out on a boat with the preparation that this girl had, ludicrous. That paired with the fact that he was available and able to fly to her aid, or send much needed items at her every request, made this story hard for me to identify with. The story as told seemed to come from someone far more mature than even the author was when she finis ...more
Nancy Kilgore
Maiden Voyage is a true story of a young woman's adventure sailing solo around the world at the age of eighteen. Not the kind of book I would normally pick up, I couldn't put it down. More than a tale of adventure and courage on the high seas, Maiden Voyage delves into the dynamics of Tania's fascinating family, the struggles in her heart, and the drama of falling in love, all portrayed with poetic sensibility and literary integrity.
Lindsey Scully
Such a good book. I'm amazed at what Tania had went thru at the age of 18-21, I can't even begin to imagine how I would have coped with any of the situations that arose during her voyage! (Although she is quite lucky to have had a wealthy father)

Great book and it has helped me in deciding where I should go when I circumnavigate the world in a sailboat with friends in a few years!
Maiden Voyage is an inspiring book about a young girl that sets of to accomplish what seems to be a unattainable task. I found the book very interesting. At times the plot wasn't always as captivating as I had wished, and I considered putting the book down. However I am grateful that I didn't. The author does an amazing job of describing the hardships of being at sea alone, some scenes are so well described you feel as though you truly are there with the main character, patching up the sails, re ...more
Andrew Pham
Warning: This book got me onto a 32ft Roughwater sailboat with dreams of circumnavigation. Lived and sailed my sailboat for 2 yrs, but I had to sell her when life changed suddenly on me. The sailing itch is still under my skin.
Sep 26, 2008 Neeka rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves boats or thinks of escaping
Recommended to Neeka by: Bob
Loved it! I want to sail the world now! Well, maybe not but it's a truly inspiring book that makes you want to experience more out of life.
I read this book, as some of you know, because Cale is working on making his dream (of sailing as a family someday) my dream. This is the second sailng book I've read. I was very interested in the book the first couple of chapters. Then, I set it aside and almost didn't finish it, but I'm really glad I did. It's an inspiring story. This girl was 18 and knew pretty little about sailing when she left to sail around the world. She nearly died several times but it was all worth it because she became ...more
Apr 10, 2011 Jaclyn rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jaclyn by: April
18 year old Tania has been given the opportunity of a lifetime: the opportunity to sail around the world. The catch: she has to do it alone, and she has to do it in under 2.5 years, fast enough to set the world record. Tania is a troubled child and her dad is concerned she's going no where fast. So in an attempt to rescue her from this fate, he makes a risky proposal: he'll buy her a boat, but she has to sail it around the world and support herself while she's sailing. Tania jumps at this scary ...more
May 16, 2013 basia added it
I received this book as a gift my senior year of high school from the teacher who supervised our literary magazine. I read it back then and loved it. From that reading, I mostly remember descriptions of the author sailing into foreign ports, hanging out with fellow sailors, and eating fruit. It made me want to follow in her footsteps.

This time around I noticed things I didn't pay attention to the first time. The way her father manipulated her into this "adventure." The way, after she begins her
Michelle Gaines
I very much enjoyed this book. I was not that excited at first, because its nonfiction, but I was pleasantly surprised. Tania did manage to sail all around the world by herselft in only 2 years, which was her goal. At one point, though, she gave her friend a short ride, so she was not completely alone the whole time, meaning she did not technically break the record. Tania didnt care too much about this, the trip was not about getting in the World Record book, but it was still a little disappoint ...more
A lovely story about a young girl who sails around the world. This book speaks to the heart of those who are adventurous. This made me want to purchase a boat and learn to sail and then take up the sailing life.
18 years old, very very little sailing experience -- okay, I'll head out on a SOLO global circumnavigation!! Crazy, amazing, touching, inspiring sailing adventure cum coming-of-age story.
5 stars for the accomplishment. I was blown away by how unprepared she was, and that her dad let her go (pushed her?) without making sure she could at least navigate. Inspirational story.
I picked this book up because I read a lot of travel and memoir, and this looked like a unique spin on both. The author, Tania Aebi, is an 18-year-old who sails around the world by herself as she comes of age, and her story is exciting and inspiring. The writing itself, though, is reflective of the author - young, too earnest and unrefined. At times I enjoyed the tone as it reminded me of how I saw the world as a young traveller, but I usually found it irritating. Surprisingly, this did not dete ...more
I wanted to love this book so hard, and instead, I hated it a lot.
When I was younger, I spent a few years obsessed with boats, in much the same way many young women are obsessed with horses. BOATS. YAY. And here was a young woman who was given a boat (GIVEN a boat, just like that, OH the JEALOUSY.) and told (allowed) to sail around the whole world, all by herself. Like, Dove! But with a girl.

But then she was super unprepared and kind of a jerk, and she left without knowing how to navigate, and
I really liked the story and thought it was well written. It was adventurous, thrilling and romantic. What more can you ask from a book?
Jp Bleibtreu
Completely and totally amazing. I could not put it down. This is the true story of a 'headed no where' teenager whos adventuresome father made her a proposition. I will pay for you to go to college or buy you a sailboat. but if you pick the boat you have to sail it around the world singelhanded.
what follows is the most intimate and revealing portrait of a young woman who discovers not only herself and the world but a whole subculture of 'singlehanders' and floating charecters. filled with nail b
Read this just out of highschool and related so close to the author/main character. A smart, but unfocused punk rocker chic isn't ready for college(!), so her father offers her the opportunity of a lifetime - sail around the world alone. She learns just the basics before setting sail on a 35-ft sailboat on what becomes a 2.5 year journey while writing for travel magazines for income. She sets two world records - for being the youngest person to sail around the world, and for being the fastest. O ...more
This was my nightstand book for months, and I finally finished it! Needless to say, Maiden Voyage is a fabulous true-adventure story about Tania Aebi, an 18-year-old woman, who takes a 2-1/2 year voyage in a 26-foot sailboat solo around the world. This took place in the 1980s, so there is no GPS to get her out of tough navigation quandries, and no internet to keep her wired to the world. The book serves as a nice travelogue, and even a love story, as she meets a fellow sailor who, in his own boa ...more
Great sailing story, especially for cruisers looking for blue water adventures.
I remember when this came out. Tania was interviewed by Jane Pauley on the Today Show, who was horrified at what Tania's dad had done. To buy a boat for a girl who has never sailed, so she could sail alone "around the world" seemed righteously "neglectful". But so she did. Clearly she was heading down the wrong path and her dad thought this was his only chance to "reset her course". A great fun read for those sailors who dream of doing this, and for young women trying to figure out where to go a ...more
Ok, I loved this book. Maybe I'm just a sucker for sailing books (um, yes), but this is another one that I didn't want to end.

Aebi is 18 and directionless back in the '80s, working as a bike messenger in NY. Knowing she does not want to go to college, her father, a wealthy, adventuring type, buys her a boat and gives her a challenge to singlehandedly sail around the world. Despite not having very much sailing experience, she rises to the challenge and manages to do it.

Oh, and there are cats on t
I felt this book was fairly well written, but could've been so much more than it was. The telling of a circumnavigation had the potential to be a captivating adventure story. I realize this was Tania's first literary work of length, but what should've been a harrowing story turned into a litany of phobias at times... And why weren't any pictures included? Considering the dearth of descriptives, why not include a few? I enjoyed the tale, but it really seems to have left out so much, it was a bit ...more
Apr 06, 2008 Dawson rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: aspiring solo circumnavigators
Recommended to Dawson by: Greg Shadow
Of books by people who've sailed around the world alone, this one is probably the most inspirational. It's a lot like The Dove. But different. One thing I took away from this book is, it helps to have a lot of extra cash laying around if you're going to sail around the world, because even with a brand new boat, shit breaks all the time.

Not to take anything away from the actual story. It's quite compelling, and the author really makes it seem like it'd be fun despite the obvious hardships involv
Qi Yin
Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi is about Tania who decides not to go the college and promise to sail around the world. Tania doesn't even know how to operate a sailboat. Along her voyage, she gets to know a lot of people who helps her.
I like this book because it tells me how lonely one might get when they are alone in some dangerous situation. Though it sounds cool to hear that someone travels around the world by himself/herself, there are also many things that we wouldn't be able to see.
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At the age of 18 she set off from New York on a solo circumnavigation of the globe in a 26 foot sailboat, Varuna. She returned at the age of 21 and Maiden Voyage is a memoir of her solo trip around the world.

Upon her return she married Olivier, a fellow sailor she met on her trip. Although they would later divorce, she went on to raise two sons with him, earned her BA and MFA, as well as her capt
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